By Shantesh Sunil Row
Earlier this month, Merriam-Webster’s ‘The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary’ added 300 words to its bank to mark its 70th anniversary. Some of these newly introduced words include Emoji, Facepalm, Ew and Sriracha. In the same vein, the Oxford Dictionary editors admit to closing in on over 1,000 new words to be added to the compendium annually.
So, in a field like marketing, where today’s trend is tomorrow’s dodo, there’s always room for constant change. And, of course, for innovative new words to make it to the ever-expanding lexicon. After all, marketing is never still, always in metamorphosis, and has to continuously evolve as consumers, products, mindsets, and technology evolve.
I’ve seen this evolution and revolution in over two decades of being in advertising and marketing. ‘Y2K’ was the buzzword at the start of the new millennium, and now the word ‘millennials’ is the hot button.
Here are some new words that I have coined and defined to explain what’s happening out there today. All these words are original, and I’m hopeful they curry favour in the conversations of today and tomorrow. Do feel free to use them the next time you get an opportunity.
Here are 7 new “species” discovered in the world of marketing today:
1. Drand: You may be familiar with the term brand. But, I now present you with an alternative—’drand’. Simply put, this is a brand that lives, breathes, and communicates digitally—existing in the ether of cyberspace—with no life of its own in Above The Line (ATL) or Below The Line (BTL). In a way, you can say it exists only in DGTL.
2. Sonsumer: This is an individual consumer who never goes to any physical place to experience a brand. They do it via social media alone, hence the term sonsumer. From buying the latest SLR camera, to giving an opinion on a new bistro or lounge, to putting up a memento for auction online—a sonsumer speaks the language of commerce socially.
3. iCommerce: From celebrities with millions of Twitter followers, to once-upon-a-time-average-Joes who are now Instagram stars thanks to their unique content, iCommerce is the creation of demand and supply of brands, and products driven by influencers. These Influencers make the movers, create the shakers, and separate the fakers.
4. DisContent: There was a time when everyone wanted to create “conversation capital”, to be at the forefront of content that would draw new sets of audiences to one’s brands. But, one has seen many an example where the content intended for one’s target audience is so low on truth, quality or relevance, that it actually causes DisContent, and for a brand to be seen in a negative light. Case in point—H&M’s “monkey hoodie” scandal that occurred in January this year, and caused widespread social media outrage.
5. EssenCEO: Let’s face it. Our world today is dominated by youngsters, who are shaping its every moment and milestone. Even Forbes recognises these young visionaries with their “30 Under 30” lists. In a nutshell, EssenCEO is the mojo of a new-age start-up or idea, which derives its essence from the effervescence of its CEOs or founders.
6. CardJacking: Visa and MasterCard are still the big daddies when it comes to payments processing. But, they are now considered to be traditional modes of transactions. But, as is the case in India now, homegrown Unified Payments Interfaces or digital payment platforms, call them outliers or upstarts if you may, which are also backed by the government, may soon threaten to overtake those names printed on most credit and debit cards. Now, if that’s not CardJacking, what is?
7. Coinversation: X lamented, “I just lost a lakh in a minute,” while Y boasts, “I made a month’s salary in a second.” A year ago you would be forgiven for thinking this was two friends discussing either the stock markets or a night out in Vegas. These days, however, it’s all about the universe of chatter that is being dominated by the rise and fall of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Cardano, LitCoin and so many more of their ilk. Cryptocurrencies are now all the rage, with youngsters preferring to trade on the unregulated blockchain rather than the more traditional stock market.
So, do you have any new words of your own? Join in the ‘coinversation’, and let the neo-vocabulary flow.
Shantesh Sunil Row is a partner, chief creative officer, and copywriting chief at the Dubai-based advertising agency Slant.
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius